Ready for a smokey succulent authentic Pakistani chicken tikka? It tastes just like a restaurant and as if just coming off the barbecue pit. Marinate tikka ahead and cook it within 25 minutes!
Chicken: Use medium-sized chicken pieces that weigh 750 grams. (Live chicken weighs 1-1.25 kg) Smaller chicken has tender meat. The bigger bird would require longer marination of at least 8 hours.
Wet spices: The wet spices are ginger, garlic, green chili, and papaya paste on the round plate. Papaya paste is used as a meat tenderizer.
Common Indian spices: Tikka doesn't require tons of spices like achari chicken. The dry spices are common Indian spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, salt, red chili flakes, and Kashmiri chili powder.
Kashmiri chili has a bright red color and a moderately spicy taste. You can substitute Kashmiri chili powder with paprika, and extra chili powder.
Yogurt: Yogurt adds a little tanginess and is also a meat tenderizer.
Lemon: Lemon helps with the tanginess.
HOW TO MAKE IT?
CHICKEN TIKKA ON THE STOVETOP
Soak chicken in vinegar and salt solution for 20 minutes. Pro Tip: This helps clean the chicken and removes the blood in the chicken leg. You can read more about washing chicken on Cookist.com.
Wash the chicken thoroughly after soaking and pat dry. Now, pierce the chicken with a fork. Then insert deep cuts across the grain. The cuts should be deep and the knife should touch the bone of the chicken.
Mix all the ingredients of marination in a bowl.
Apply all over the chicken and marinate overnight in the fridge. Or keep for 4-6 hours at room temperature in a cool place. Cover the pot with mesh or thin cloth to allow air circulation if kept out of the fridge.
Cook tikka in a wide pot on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes. Cover the pot while cooking. Then burn excess water on high heat.
Pro Tip 1: Do not overcook tikka, the meat shouldn't come off the bones. If the tikka is fully cooked and there is still water left in the masala.
Remove chicken pieces and keep them on a separate plate. Then burn excess water on high heat. Apply the dry masala over the chicken but do not overdo it.
Pro Tip 2: If you have any excess masala save it to make chicken tikka both or chicken tikka masala or add it to any sauce.
To smoke: Place tikka in a wide pot with a tight lid. Put a piece of foil or a small metal bowl in the center of the pot. Now, heat charcoal on high flame until red hot then transfer coal carefully with the help of tongs to a pan. Drizzle little oil over the coal and cover the lid tightly to trap the smoke. Smoke for 7-10 minutes. Now heat the smoked tikka on the direct flame until crispy and serve. Or alternatively, you can grill tikka will little oil on a grill pan until slightly crispy. Grill on low heat.